Spanish deli asks tourists who are ‘just looking’ to pay a $7 charge
Tourists who visit a Spanish deli just to take pictures and videos without buying anything might be asked to pay a €5 (S$7.40) charge.
The 125-year old Queviures Murria in Barcelona, famous for its Modernista-style facade and vintage interior, is a magnet for hundreds of tourists daily.
But most of them are more interested in taking pictures and selfies than buying its high-end products, which include fine wine, oils, meats and artisanal cheese.
Fed up with the hordes of people crowding the store, employees joked that they should start charging people who came by “just to look”.
The management then put up a sign that said: “Visit just looking (inside) €5 x person, thank you.”
Shop manager Toni Merino said it was disruptive to his staff and other patrons when tourists come in and do not even make an effort to be polite.
Speaking to local media, he said: “They come in and didn’t even say hello – on one Wednesday, we counted 25 in an hour.
“It was frustrating to have so many tourists taking pictures saying ‘I’m only looking’ and disturbing the people eating in the restaurant.”
The sign worked.
Tourists have since stopped coming into the shop to take pictures, and instead limit themselves to standing outside and looking at the window display.
Mr Merino said: “It doesn’t really earn us extra money, but it works. We have not yet charged anyone €5 because this is not the objective.”
He added the shop will not stop anyone who greets the staff and politely asks for permission to browse.
Queviures Murria is not the first shop to impose a charge on those who come in only to browse.
A bookshop called Livraraia Lello in neighbouring Portugal, which bills itself as the “most beautiful bookstore in the world”, charges €5 for every visitor, but the amount is deducted from the bill when anyone buys a book.